My “calling.” Urbana, Africa, & a proverb.

Urbana?
A missions conference that happens every 2 years. In a nutshell It is a time of being taught about, hearing examples of, praying for, and somehow one way or another being involved in missions. Thanks to our pastors, at the time Cpt. & Maj Smith’s, I got to go In December of 2012 with a friend of mine named Dylan. We met up with other people from the Salvation Army once there and it was a blast.

So what?
It was during the last meeting at Urbana that a small piece of paper was handed out with different questions and fill in the blanks. It was to challenge us if we where going to commit to the Lord by serving him through missions. 3 out of 4 fill in the blanks said:

-I will commit to a short term missions

-I will commit to a mid term missions

-I will commit to long term missions

Here’s a link for statistics of Urbana 12 and how many people answered to what.

After some time of honestly thinking and praying over the commitments I said yes to all 3. As accountability there was a spot for someone else to sign as a witness and to remind us as time went by. Dylan signed it for me.

Africa
Maybe you can start putting pieces together by now. The Lord, and yes it’s been the Lord, has blessed me in fulfilling my first commitment to Him. I did not know then at Urbana, that this year I would be serving as a missionary with AIM in Kenya. Let me tell you there is no better state of being than being in the hands and the plans of God.

Missions and “The calling”
There’s 2 left. Maybe. Maybe more than 2 and there’s a probability that It might be less if you and I are thinking of missions as specifically going “out there.” One of the major, if not the main, lesson I was reaffirmed of at Urbana was that all of Christian’s “calling” is to missions.

Within the Salvation Army circle I’ve heard officers, cadets, candidates, and candidates to be say something like “The Lord called me to be an officer (pastor).” Maybe, maybe some of these Salvationists literally get a burning bush calling from the Lord to be officers. But for most of us a burning bush doesn’t happen.

For the Christian, no matter, where you are, what your socio-economic status is, color of your skin, height, education, etc all those differences don’t change wether you are “called” to GO or not. The scripture tells us that he told his disciples and consequently future followers of Christ to, “…go and make disciples of all nations…” Matt 28:19.

Understanding this helps me see a few things clearly: it is a command, it is clear, it is encouraging. I hope you see the command and clearness of the scripture by reading it and pretty much the entire New Testament. As far as encouraging, what I mean is that I don’t find myself asking the question: what is my life’s purpose? Or what is God’s will for my life? Let me repeat it, for the Christian, for you and me it is to GO! Do whatever so long as it is for the glory of God and whatever it is you do, disciple!

A Proverb
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9. I believe in the sovereignty of God. I also believe somehow there is a partnership of those who have surrendered their life to Christ in man’s life. Practically the way I see that in mine is an – as I’m going about the course of my planned days – work, play, or otherwise, it all falls under where the Lord has and is establish-ed/ing my steps.

Sounds like a contradiction? Yes, but then this verse would be too. Without getting exegetical up in here, I take great comfort and trust that as long as He is my aim in life, whatever plans and steps I make he will either bless me in letting me walk forward through it with Him or close doors and guide me elsewhere. Hence how i take my calling. I want to be in missions abroad, the Lord hasn’t shown me clearly what that will look like and that’s ok. In the mean time I can press on to find out how to do that AND do missions locally at the same time. Planning for ministry in the future is commendable, living a life of ministry in the present is a must.

It is a temptation to sit and wait, or complain, that God’s plans aren’t clear in ones life. If it’s not clear that’s ok, don’t fold your hands and wait for the Lord to drop a ministry opportunity or vocation on your lap. As you do-GO and make disciples. Plan your steps and take comfort that, focused on the Lord, He will establish your steps.

Thanks for reading, Dan

P.S. I’ve uploaded pictures from Urbana 12 on my flickr. If you are using a desktop you should see it to the right of our blog. If a mobile device it should be below and need to scroll down.

Most likely, this will be our last blog post while in Kenya, there are a few pictures left from Kenya i have not uploaded yet to Flickr but i will soon.

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